I had the great pleasure of presenting a workshop for the Canterbury Literacy Association this week – entitled ‘dramatically enhancing the teaching of literacy in years 1-8’. The workshop focussed on how classroom drama can be used to bring picture books to life and set up opportunities for authentic literacy tasks.
I promised the participants I would share my planning. So here goes…
Two resources are attached:
The first is a plan originally developed for beginner teachers. It will be familiar to my former students as I used it for several years in preservice courses. It’s adapted from one of the units in the excellent ‘Playing our Stories’ resource (Learning Media 2001 – now sadly out of print) based on The Lighthouse Keeper’s Rescue by Rhonda and David Armitage. It’s a fairly straightforward drama designed for those trying teacher in role and drama conventions for the first time. It’s fully ‘scripted’ with links to curriculum etc.
The second resource follows on from the first and gives a set of 12 steps to follow to create your own drama using the same structure with a different picture book. Again, this is a resource I developed and trialled with student teachers over many years. It seems to work pretty well, with many fabulous original dramas developed using these steps. An advantage of developing your own drama is you can choose books that suit your context (for example using texts in te reo, or more complex sophisticated picture books for senior students). As someone at the workshop pointed out, the same structure could be adapted for other books too, including novels or playtexts.
I do hope you find these resources useful. Just to clarify, they are not ‘mantle’ plans in the sense of setting up full-length cross curricula dramatic inquiry … but they may be useful in developing the drama skills needed for mantle teaching.